Monday, December 29, 2008

Los Angeles Chinatown Day Trip

Los Angeles Chinatown Golden Dragon GatewayOld China Town Plaza Los Angeles Chinatown Los Angeles is a fascinating place to visit.

 Located along Broadway street in downtown the 16 block area is full of small shops and restaurants selling anything from incense to giant bags of mushrooms.

There are several small shopping malls with the oldest being Old China Town Plaza with it's distinctive old style Chinese architecture.

There are plenty of places to park so get out of the car and take a walk along Broadway street and enjoy the sights and sounds of Chinatown.

The people are friendly and more than happy to suggest their favorite shop or place to eat.

 A short walk will take you to Olvera Street historic district however I would only venture there if you have some extra time.

Chinatown is much more interesting and does not have tourist buses unloading hundreds of people into a small shopping district.

Chinatown LA shoppingBroadway Street Chinatown Los Angeles Be sure to go into some of the shops in Chinatown especially the food stores. Most items are very reasonably priced and if your up to it you might be able to haggle a lower price.

Your trip to Chinatown would not be complete without some good Chinese food and there are plenty of places to choose from.

Pick from sidewalk vendors to sit down restaurants all offering authentic Chinese dining.

 A day trip to Chinatown LA is a very inexpensive outing. Parking will cost about five dollars for the day. (do not park at the Olvera Street lots they charge ten bucks).

Walking around is free and if you decide to eat the restaurants are not over priced. More pictures and directions to Chinatown Los Angeles on our main web site.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Free Places to Go in Southern California

Laguna Canyon
Southern California has hundreds of interesting things to do and places to see. Many of these places are free or low cost. Amusement Parks are great but can cost as much as $60.00 a ticket. Going to see a movie with a family of four will set you back $40.00. A family lunch or dinner will more than likely cost $50.00 or more. The one thing that has come down is the price of gas which makes taking a local day trip the most cost effective family entertainment these days. Daytrippen.com has a growing list of free things to do in Southern California. Don't sit at home with bored kids head out for a day trip and explore So Cal. Tip: pack a lunch and drinks and your days entertainment will only cost you a half a tank of gas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

California Space Tourism Takes Off

WhiteKnightTwo
The Mojave Air and Space Port launched the first test flight of WhiteKnightTwo the mothership for Virgin atlantic's Galactic commercial spaceline system today. After a number of shakeout flights, the WhiteKnightTwo is to be outfitted with the now-under-construction SpaceShipTwo. Ultimately WhiteKnightTwo is to carry the space plane to altitude, where it will then detach and head for suborbital space flights. Virgin Galactic has on order five SpaceShipTwo rocket planes and two of the carrier craft, with options on more.
Virgin Galactic has received deposits from 200 astronauts totaling over $30 million. Ticket price is currently $200,000, although as passenger volumes increase, the goal is to dramatically reduce this price to make spaceflight affordable to the maximum number of people.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Big Bear San Bernardino Mountains

Snow Big Bear
It's winter in Southern California with a cold storm dumping as much as 4 feet of snow at Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains. With fresh powder in the mountains all of the resorts are open for business. Before leaving on a trip check road conditions and carry chains. Big Bear Resort, Snow Summit, Mountain High and even Mount Baldy are all are reporting lots of fresh snow for Southern California winter fun. The freezing cold storm even gave Malibu a dusting of snow. There are three ways to Big Bear - Highway 330/18 from San Bernardino through Running Springs ("Front Way") is the shortest and most direct route. Highway 38 from Redlands ("Back Way") is the best route when leaving the Valley on weekends and holidays. Highway 18 from Lucerne Valley ("Desert Way") is best in snowy weather. Hotels,cabins and resorts in Big Bear.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Living Desert Christmas WildLights Holiday Festival

Living Desert Christmas
The the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert California is holding it's annual festival of lights. The holiday event runs through January 4, 2009 and features more than 350,000 sparkling lights that illuminate the park after dark. Returning this year is the Super Glide “iceless”skating rink, special visits from Santa Claus, live music, wood-burning fireplaces, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, s’mores and more! Full food service will also be available at Meerkat CafĂ©. WildLights will be held on Nov. 28-30, Dec. 5-7, Dec. 12-14, Dec. 19-23, Dec. 26-Jan. 4. WildLights admission is $7.75 for adults, $5.50 for children (ages 3-12), $6.00 for Living Desert members. The Living Desert 47-900 Portola Avenue Palm Desert, CA 92260 Phone: 760-346-5694

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Means Whale Watching in Southern California

Southern California has year round whale watching but things really kick into high gear with the gray whale migration down the pacific coast. Gray Whales can been seen mid-December through March with January being the peak month. Most of Southern California's harbors offer whale watching boats. Pricing can vary but expect to pay about 25 to 30 dollars for a two hour whale watching trip. During peak season it's possible to view whales from land using binoculars. Point Loma in San Diego and Point Dume north of Los Angeles are both excellent places for land viewing of whales. Still your best chance to see whales is with of one of the Southern California whale watching boats. A few of the tours offer guaranteed sightings but if you look at fine print it includes whale or dolphin sightings. Even if you don't see a whale it's fun to get out on the boat and check out the coastline from off shore. Listing of So Cal whale watching boats.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New Years Eve aboard the USS Midway

USS Midway
How is this for a unique way to spend New Years Eve December 31, 2008 – From 8:00 PM until Midnight aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier. Drink champagne while watching the city lights from the flight deck. Dance to Big Daddy Orchestra. And enjoy extravagant dining prepared by Peartrees Catering. the historic USS Midway aircraft carrier, alongside Navy Pier in downtown San Diego on the North Embarcadero. For reservations call 619-575-5000 Individual Tickets: $159 per person.

Calico Ghost Town New Years Celebration

Calico Bottle HouseCalico Ghost Town near Barstow California is celebrating New Years December 26-28. The fun will begin Friday evening, December 26th in the old mining town located off I-15 north of Barstow. Grammy nominated Lisa Haley and the Zydecats will delight the crowd with continuous performances throughout the weekend. Singing cowboy, Billy Erickson, will entertain through his songs and tales of the West. Calico Ghost Town's family friendly New Years celebration will light up the skies of Calico Mountain with a must-see fireworks display Saturday, December 27th at 6:00 p.m. Admission to New Years at Calico is $5/individual and $10/carload. Admission price includes Maggie's Mine, the Mystery Shack and gold panning amusements. Rides on the narrow gauge mining train are additional.

Calico Ghost Town is located just northeast of Barstow, take the Ghost Town Road exit from Interstate 15

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy - Laguna Canyon

Sawdust Art Festival If you are looking for a unique gift or a pleasant place to spend the day the Sawdust Art Festival is the place to go. The winter festival is open four weekends November 22-December 14. The Sawdust festival grounds have been transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland. Exhibitors create, display and sell original creations. Art media includes: jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, sculpture and more. See for yourself why Winter Fantasy is a favorite stop for savvy shoppers seeking one-of-a-kind gifts. Sawdust Art Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, CA. 92651
Phone: 949.494.3030, Fax: 949.494.7390

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Boat Parades - California

Christmas Boat Parades - California
Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade - This two-hour parade includes boats lighted for Christmas, traveling around the marina and the length of the channel and back. Viewing possible at Fisherman's Village, Burton Chase Park and along Fiji Way wherever a view of the water is open. 12/13/2008

Huntington Harbour Cruise of Lights - Narrated boat tours through the waterways of Huntington Harbour to view hundreds of brightly decorated homes, docks, decks and boats. Countless residents and visitors to Southern California come to experience the beauty of thousands of lights and animated displays.

Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade - Yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats, plus nearby Newport Harbor homes will be illuminated with thousands of holiday lights, some with animated Christmas scenes, music and costumed carolers. Newport Landing Sportfishing offers cruises for the general public during the boat parade and throughout the month of December.

Channel Islands Harbor Parade of Lights - This year's parade will celebrate Christmas "California Style. Boats will be decorated in the theme and parade throughout the Channel Islands Harbor. Ventura California 12/13/2008 - 12/13/2008

37th Annual Port of San Diego Boat Parade of Lights - 12/14/08 – 12/21/08 –
The amazing boat parade of lights on San Diego Bay takes place on two Sundays only, December 14th and December 21st. A traditional Christmas present to San Diego from the boating community.

San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Holiday Lights Boat Parade - View more than 100 boats from the Fisherman's Wharf Fishing Fleet and the St. Francis Yacht Club. The boats will have festive holiday lights and decorations. Spectators can get a great view from Aquatic Park & PIER 39. Friday, Dec 19 6:00p to 9:00p

Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks - The 20th Annual Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks will take place on Saturday, December 13th. Boats will round up off the Bay Model Pier and move in a southerly direction along the waterfront. The Parade will begin at 6:00 pm, with Fireworks to follow at 8:00 pm.

Dana Point - Boat Parade of Lights - Boaters from all
around Orange County decorate their boats and vie for the awards of Judges Choice, Best Theme, Best Use of Lights, Best Animation, Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat and the Perpetual Trophy for the Yacht Club with the
Most Entries. Friday, Dec 7th & Saturday Dec 8th - 7:30pm Friday, Dec 14th & Saturday Dec 15th - 7:30pm

Friday, December 05, 2008

Bates Nut Farm Country Christmas

Looking for something fun to do this Christmas. Take a trip to Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, California for a country Christmas celebration. Admission to "Country Christmas" is FREE. This event is designed to bring our community together, offering free and low cost entertainment, crafts and games. Families can see Santa, hear carolers, see a living nativity, beautiful decorations and indulge in many traditions of Christmas. At Bates Nut Farm everyone feels at home and that’s the best part! for more information vist http://www.vcct.org/

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

LA Live - Entertainment District

LA Live - Entertainment District LA Live is now open in downtown Los Angeles. The massive complex when complete will have apartments, ballrooms, bars, concert theaters, restaurants, movie theaters and a 54 story hotel and condominium tower.Open or soon to open at LA Live: Nokia Theatre,Conga Room nightclub, Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge, and Club Nokia, Yard House, the Farm of Beverly Hills, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, Lawry's Carvery and Trader Vic's. A West Coast broadcast center for ESPN is at one end of the complex, with an ESPN Zone restaurant and bar on the ground floor. Opening on December 12 is the Grammy Museum which is dedicated to the history of the Grammy Awards. LA Live 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Pine Knot Village Big Bear California

Pine Knot Village Big Bear California Car Show Pine Knot Village is the main shopping district in Big Bear California. If you are planning a trip to the mountains of Southern California Pine Knot Village should be your first stop. Here you can find shopping, dinning and accomodations all located in the scenic Bear Valley. Pine Knot is where the first lodges were built in the Bear Valley region of the San Bernardino mountains. Today the area has some of the best hotels in Big Bear with several of them located next to the lake. Just a short walk from the village you can board Big Bear Lake's largest tour boat which takes you on a one and half hour narrated tour around the lake. Next time you are looking for an escape form the crowded lowlands take a trip up the mountain to Pine Knot Village.

California State Capitol and Museum

California State Capitol The California State Capitol is just as impressive as the United States Capitol building in Wahington DC. The capitol building is surrounded by Capitol Park which is planted with trees from around the world. Located in the heart of downtown Sacramento the State Capitol and Museum are a must see for any visitor. Public tours are conducted daily, on the hour, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can stroll around the forty acres of lawns, flower gardens and memorials surround the Capitol building any time of the day. In the in basement there is a gift shop and a theater where films are shown daily. Visitors entering the Capitol building will subject to security-control measures. Location: 10th and L Streets Sacramento, CA 95814